The Museum of Anthropology embraces research and education on all aspects of humanity's past. The field and laboratory research conducted by our curators and affiliated researchers and graduate students explores large questions: "when and why did human culture emerge?"; "why did human societies develop and adopt agriculture?"; "why and how do social inequalities and state societies develop and expand?"; among many others. The hallmarks of Museum of Anthropology scholarship are our commitment to a broad comparative perspective, and to integrating anthropological theory with rigorous archaeological research in specific contexts throughout both the New and Old Worlds.
The more than three million objects in the Museum's collections constitute an invaluable resource for scholarship dedicated to refining and transforming understandings of human diversity and culture change. Museum curators and staff are dedicated to the care and documentation of these collections to the highest possible standards, and to assuring their accessibility to scholars, educators, students, descendent communities, and the general public. Through undergraduate and graduate field-training, laboratory research opportunities with museum collections, and course work in our associated unit, the Department of Anthropology, we strive to provide U-M undergraduate and graduate students with critical skills and experiences in the methods and practice of archaeology and with the theoretical tools to ask the big questions about what it means to be human.
The generous support of alumni, individual donors, foundations, and corporate citizens is essential for the Museum of Anthropology to be able to continue to conduct significant archaeological research and make our world-class collections available to a broader audience at the University, in Michigan, and across the globe.
Your generous gift to one of the Museum’s endowment funds can help us further this vision. A gift to an undergraduate research fund can help a student join an archaeological field project or present a paper at a major conference. A donation to the RCYBP Endowment will allow a graduate student to run radiocarbon dates on samples from their doctoral fieldwork. Other endowments help support visiting speakers, doctoral fieldwork, and other museum activities.
Create a New Endowment
In addition to our existing endowment funds, the Museum is eager to create new endowments that will help us to fulfill and expand our mission. Among our priorities are endowments that: support our publications program; fund collections care and conservation projects; support postdoctoral fellows; and allow us to expand to new areas of research. If you are interested in creating an endowment fund, please contact the Museum Director or relevant curator.
Make a Gift to the Director’s Strategic Fund
A donation to the Director’s Strategic Fund provides unrestricted funds that are critical to the well-being and ongoing growth of the Museum. The strategic fund is used throughout the year for general operations as well as the urgent needs of the Museum.
The Museum relies on the help of volunteers in many of our research and collection activities. UM students and members of the public who can commit to several hours per week are invited to contact the Museum’s Collection Manager or one of our curators or research affiliates to learn about volunteer opportunities.
Many of the Museum’s collections derive from donations by anthropologists and members of the public. If you are interested in donating a collection to the Museum, please contact the Museum Director, one of the Curators, or the Collections Manager.
Consider Planned Giving
Legacy or “planned” gifts can help you support the Museum of Anthropology for generations to come. You can choose from a variety of creative ways to contribute, including:
• estate planning—a great way to include the University in your will
• gifts that pay you or your loved ones an income
• gifts of appreciated stocks or other assets
For a complete list of all Museum of Anthropology Endowment Funds, please click here.